oil wellsRecently, there has been significant media attention given to the idea of the forced pooling of oil and gas interests.  In addition, there is legislation pending in the Colorado legislature that could alter the concept of forced pooling in the state. Despite this attention, many people do not understand the concept of pooling or why it is important to oil and gas development.

At its most basic, pooling is Continue Reading What is “Forced” Pooling and Why is it Important?

OK KS Sierra ClubYesterday, the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma issued an order granting the motions to dismiss of three oil and gas operator defendants, Chesapeake Energy, Devon Energy, and New Dominion, in an action brought by the Sierra Club alleging that the operators’ activities “contributed, and continues to contribute, to an increase in earthquakes throughout the State of Oklahoma and in southern Kansas.”
Continue Reading Earthquake Lawsuit Rocked By Burford Abstention

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Fulfilling repeated campaign pledges to roll back the Obama administration’s climate change initiatives, President Trump signed a sweeping executive order yesterday targeting key Obama-era regulations, including the Clean Power Plan and emission standards for the oil and gas industry. The executive order states that it is in the interest of the nation to promote development of energy resources “while at the same time avoiding regulatory burdens that unnecessarily encumber energy production, constrain economic growth, and prevent job creation.” The multi-faceted approach taken by the order makes it clear that this Administration views any regulation of climate change or carbon pollution as “unnecessary.”  Continue Reading Trump’s Executive Order Takes a Multi-Faceted Approach to Eliminating Climate Change Regulation

Flag of Colorado waving.Today, the Colorado Court of Appeals held that the Denver district court erred when it dismissed the suit of Colorado youth who challenged the dismissal by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (the “COGCC”) of their rulemaking petition.  Martinez v. Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, 2017COA37 (March 23, 2017).  The district court had affirmed the COGCC’s dismissal concluding that the COGCC lacked the authority to consider a proposed rule that would require the COGCC to adjust the balance between the development of oil and gas resources and the protection of public health, safety, and welfare under the Oil and Gas Conservation Act (the “Act”).

The court of appeals concluded Continue Reading Kids’ Climate Suit Can Move Forward in Colorado State Court

Flag_of_CaliforniaCalifornia’s Proposition 65, also called the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, requires businesses to notify Californians about significant amounts of chemicals in the consumer products they purchase, in their homes or workplaces, or that are released into the environment. Under recent changes to the law, companies in the oilfield business and gasoline service business will need to make warning signs more specific in order to Continue Reading Changes to California’s Prop 65 Warning Requirements to Impact Energy Industry

Trans-Alaska PipelineOn January 23, 2017, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) amended its pipeline safety regulations to address the requirements of the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011. The final rule affects post-accident reporting obligations, safety training requirements, and permitting procedures. The major provisions of the new pipeline safety rule include Continue Reading PHMSA Updates Pipeline Safety Regulations

Yesterday, President Obama, acting under the authority of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (the “Act”), issued a Presidential Memoranda effectively withdrawing large portions of the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans from new oil and gas drilling. As reflected in several cabinet-level appointments and nominations by President-elect Trump, the new administration likely will have a much friendlier approach to oil and gas operations both on and offshore. Thus, the pertinent question is: Continue Reading Oil Drilling Banned in Large Portions of the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans – But for How Long?

For months the news coming out of Midland has been positive – gradually increasing oil prices triggered a resurgence in activity in the Permian and Delaware Basins.  At the same time, the slow if steady rise in oil prices seemed to be doing little to increase activity in the northern Rockies.

On December 13, however, in the Director’s Cut issued by the NDIC (North Dakota Industrial Commission) Department of Mineral Resources, we may be seeing evidence of Continue Reading Is the Oil Recovery Finally Reaching North Dakota?